Dr Martha Vandrei

Research interests

I am an historian of ideas and culture in Britain, working across periods which are too often seen in isolation from one another, in particular the early modern and the modern, but also with an eye toward the more distant past. My interest has been specifically in the field of historical culture, or the reception of the past in Britain, ranging from the history of popular history and antiquarianism to the more established field of the history of historiography. I am particularly interested in the historical antecedents of modern ideas; this necessitates taking this longue-durée approach, as well as working across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and acknowledging the interconnectedness of the wide variety of genres, media, and methods that constitute our ideas about the past. In my work, I draw on a variety of source material, inclduing biblical, classical, antiquarian and literary works, as well as theatre, song, imagery, and sculpture. I have recently become interested in philosophy and intellectual history, and in the development of the discipline of the history of ideas in Britain and America.